San Diego, March 23, 2009 -- Starting April 16, students walking into the engineering courtyard off Warren Mall on the University of California, San Diego campus will encounter something scary: whole areas of grassy space cordoned off with yellow-and-black hazard tape and signs bearing the inscription, "Danger - Minefield - Do Not Proceed," in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and other languages.
It's part of an indoor-outdoor art exhibition called the Anti-Personnel Mines Project, by Carlos Trilnick, which opens to the public on April 16 in the gallery@calit2, part of the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The launch coincides with a panel discussion and reception the same day, from 5-8 p.m.
Trilnick, an Argentine media artist and activist, calls attention to the insidious nature of land mines, which continue to take lives, often of civilians, long after an open conflict has ended.
"This work attempts to create awareness and activism in public opinion around this danger, which disproportionately affects civilian populations such as war refugees, children, women and the rural poor," said Trilnick, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires and former visiting professor at UC San Diego in 2008. "[At UCSD] it caught my attention that the campus is located on former military land which could have had mines, that there are still military arms manufacturers along the La Jolla-San Diego corridor, and that there is a continual roar overhead from military aircraft coming and going. These scenes were on top of the fact that the United States has not signed the Ottawa Treaty that bans the manufacturing, destruction of stockpiles and de-activation of anti-personnel mines, so it made me think that presenting this project in this context would shed light and provoke thought."
Said Trilnick: "The areas that produce interactivity in the system of sensors are fleeting and vary from moment to moment, so the spectator cannot identify the precise location of the next 'mine'. This adds to the uncertainty, the unexpected and perhaps the horror."
Since 1980, Trilnick has been one of the pioneers of video art in Latin America, and his works - ranging from video installations and multimedia art to photography and online projects - have been exhibited extensively in Europe, Latin America and the U.S., including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is a senior professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urban Development at the University of Buenos Aires. In addition to UC San Diego, Trilnick is also a Visiting Professor at universities in Colombia and Ecuador. Trilnick co-directs the Media Laboratory at the Talpiot Institute of Buenos Aires (a primary and secondary school), and coordinates the audio-visual media program "Vale la Pena," which curates programs of a broad range of contemporary work that engages social issues across the arts.
"Carlos Trilnick is an artist with a conscience who has the uncanny ability to get a visceral response from the viewer to the underlying condition expored by the artist," said UC San Diego visual arts professor Ricardo Dominguez, co-chair of the committee that oversees the gallery @ calit2. "At a time when land-mine explosions worldwide continue to result in roughly 2,000 deaths and more than 800 mutilations every month, this art work makes an important artistic as well as political contribution."
The exhibition calls attention to the 42 countries that have not yet signed the 1999 Ottawa Treaty to prohibit the use or manufacture of anti-personnel mines, including the world's largest countries: China, India, Russia and the United States. U.S.-based Claymore, Inc. remains the world's largest maker of land mines.
The gallery @ calit2 reflects the nexus of innovation implicit in Calit2's vision, and aims to advance our understanding and appreciation of the dynamic interplay among art, science and technology. Calit2 is a partnership between UC San Diego and UC Irvine that is organized around cross-disciplinary projects on the future of telecommunications, information technology, new media arts and other technologies that will transform a range of applications important to the California economy and citizens' quality of life.
New Exhibition: "Anti-Personnel Mines Project"
By Carlos Trilnick
April 16, 4-5pm
Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego
April 16, 5-7pm
Lobby, Atkinson Hall, UCSD
* Note: Panel discussion and gallery reception open to the public; RSVP requested to Trish Stone, Gallery Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 336-6456.
April 16-June 10, 2009
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093
Map & Directions: http://atkinsonhall.calit2.net/directions/
* [Note: Closed May 25 in observance of Memorial Day]
April 16-23, 2009
Thursday-Thursday, All Day
Engineering Courtyard, off Warren Mall, UCSD
Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825, email@example.com